Final State Capture Report vindicates DA war against cadre deployment and implicates Cyril Ramaphosa

Please find a link here to the State Capture Report’s findings on cadre deployment.

Please find attached a soundbite by Dr Leon Schreiber MP.

The final instalment of the State Capture Report amounts to a total and complete vindication of the DA’s decades-long fight against cadre deployment, which we have systematically intensified into a full-blown war in recent years. As a result, the DA can today announce that we are submitting the entire section of the report that deals with cadre deployment as formal supplementary evidence in our case in the North Gauteng High Court to have ANC cadre deployment corruption declared unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful, and to eradicate it from the face of our country once and for all.

This means that the final volume of the State Capture Report now becomes the fourth crucial piece of evidence we are submitting in our court challenge against this corrupt practice. The other three key pieces of the puzzle include the actual wording of the ANC’s cadre deployment policy, testimony delivered under oath in front of the State Capture Commission by the likes of former ANC cadre deployment chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa, and the 2018-2021 minutes of the ANC’s national cadre deployment committee that the DA helped expose.

The DA intends to use the findings of the final State Capture Report to devastating effect in our court challenge to the ANC. In paragraph 657, the Report echoes key aspects of the DA’s case by concluding that “it is unlawful and unconstitutional for a President of this country and any Minister, Deputy Minister or Director-General or other government official, including those in parastatals, to take into account recommendations of the ANC Deployment Committee.”

Importantly, the Report also directly implicates the chairperson of the ANC cadre deployment committee between December 2012 and December 2017, Cyril Ramaphosa. Zondo, in paragraphs 622 and 623, finds that “Many of these people…who enabled state capture…would have been appointed by the Deployment Committee…It is not sufficient for President Ramaphosa to focus on the future of the party and his envisaged renewal process. Responsibility ought to be taken for the events of the previous ‘era.’”

This means that, in the DA’s court case against ANC cadre deployment, Cyril Ramaphosa and his deplorable deployment committee now stands as accused number one.

Like the DA, judge Zondo also find it hard to believe that no meeting minutes exist for the period between 2012 and 2017 when Ramaphosa chaired the committee. In paragraph 590, the Report states that “It is difficult to conceive how the Party would have any oversight over the Committee without any records.” It is for precisely this reason that the DA is also continuing with our second, ongoing court case to force the ANC to hand over to us all cadre deployment records from the period when Ramaphosa was the chairperson.

The Report further dismisses the former cadre deployment chairperson’s claim that the committee merely makes “recommendations.” In paragraph 608, the Report finds that “The evidence…gives credence to the proposition that appointing authorities, including Cabinet, are de facto bound by the decisions of the Committee, which means that its ‘recommendations’ are in fact instructions.”

The State Capture Report’s findings also rely on exactly the same legislative and statutory foundations as the DA’s case and our End Cadre Deployment Bill, which is currently before Parliament. Like the DA, judge Zondo holds that cadre deployment violates section 195 and 197 (3) of the Constitution, which stipulates that “no employee of the public service may be favoured or prejudiced only because that person supports a particular political party or cause.” As the DA also argues before the court, the Report further finds that cadre deployment violates the Public Service Act, and that it constitutes an unfair and discriminatory labour practice because it means that “candidates [for public sector jobs] are not treated equally.”

In the intensification of our war against cadre deployment over the past three years, the DA has rolled out a carefully crafted strategy to first expose, then encircle and finally defeat ANC cadre deployment corruption. Following the final State Capture Report, we are closer than ever before to uprooting cadre deployment and, in the process, crippling the ANC’s “National Democratic Revolution” that seeks to centralise all power in the hands of this corrupt party.

In this final, endgame, stage of the DA’s war against cadre deployment, we will not only use the State Capture Report to seal our court victory over the ANC, but also to argue that Parliament has no choice but to adopt our End Cadre Deployment Bill.

It is now clearer than ever that the DA will win this war. Through relentlessly exposing cadre deployment, endless letters to the Zondo Commission, our End Cadre Deployment Bill and our ongoing court challenge to outlaw this evil, the DA is rewriting the history of the South African state – all from the opposition benches (for now).

By the time we are done, this country will – for the first time in its history – have a truly non-partisan, independent, skilled and capable state that serves all of the South African people. That is the vision that motivates us, day in and day out, to win this war against ANC cadre deployment corruption.

Rail devolution only solution for struggling commuters

Please find attached Afrikaans and English soundbites by Chris Hunsinger MP.

In a presentation before the National Council of Provinces, the Passenger Rail Company of South Africa (PRASA) essentially confirmed the collapse of the passenger rail system and why the DA’s call for the devolution of rail networks from PRASA should now be prioritised as a matter of urgency.

PRASA is operating in crisis mode because:

  • Metrorail paying passengers has decreased from 646 million in 2008/09 to 147 million 2019/20;
  • Only 45% of Prasa’s 40 Passenger rail corridors are functional; and
  • Cape Town’s central line, from Nyanga to Chris Hani, is only expected to be back online in December 2022.

At a time when commuters are facing high transport costs due to astronomical fuel prices, the failure to address the passenger rail crisis is an indictment on Minister Fikile Mbalula’s lack of leadership and disregard for the plight of ordinary South Africans.

Today, StatsSA revealed that inflation rose to 6,5% , driven largely by food and transport costs. With most consumers struggling to stay above water due to the rising cost of living, one would expect that fixing the broken passenger rail system would be a top priority for the ANC government. Their only priority, it seems, is to prioritise the multi-billion rand budget that Cabinet members are spending on travel and accommodation.

The Zondo Commission also brought up the issue of PRASA’s terminal decline and recommended the set up of an inquiry into how the passenger rail agency was allowed to “slide into almost total ruin.”

Providing an economical, dependable and reliable rail network as a transport alternative should be an urgent priority to help low income households and save them from spending a high proportion of their monthly budget on transport.

In April, the City of Cape Town announced that it had received the go-ahead to conduct a detailed feasibility study on the metropolitan rail function. With the Minister of Finance, Enoch Godongwana having expressed support for such devolution – the DA is encouraged that placing the management of passenger rail in the hands of the City will alleviate the challenges faced by Capetonians.

That the ANC government has collapsed the public transport system is no longer in question. What is needed are practical solutions to shield commuters from this abject failure by devolving public transport management to capable municipalities.

Final Zondo Report is an urgent call to reform

Please find attached a soundbite by John Steenhuisen MP.

The delivery of the final Zondo Report to the Presidency this evening is the culmination of a judicial process that has documented the darkest period in contemporary South African history. This report could not have come at a more critical time as South Africa grapples with the reality that the ANC is, without a shadow of a doubt, the single most destabilising and destructive force to the future of our country and its people.

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has laid bare the ANC’s transition from liberation movement to champagne socialists, where billionaire cronies and the political elite care less for the plight of the South African people and more for their own, greedy interests. And yet, 9 wasted years later with an estimated loss of R1,5 trillion to corruption, the ANC and its policy of cadre deployment, which facilitated the wholesale capture of the state, remain unchanged and firmly in place.

If the years of work and millions of rands poured into the Zondo Commission are to have any use to our country, the final report, and its recommendations, must become the blueprint for intense legislative reform for South Africa moving forward. As the DA studies and deliberates this final version of a series of Zondo Reports, we can conclude that this long, and painful process will have been in vain if South Africa does not urgently undertake to do the following:

1. The ANC’s policy of cadre deployment must be outlawed. When a governing party brazenly blurs the line between party and state, infiltrates the public service with party loyalists, and diverts the funds and services meant for the people of South Africa into its own pockets and coffers, this cannot be tolerated. Cadre deployment is the vessel through which the ANC captured the South African state. This practice is unconstitutional and must be declared illegal to prevent state capture from ever occurring again.

2. Those implicated in the report must urgently be investigated and prosecuted. The ANC has fostered and entrenched a culture of impunity which must be abolished, and this can only happen by reestablishing law enforcement bodies such as The Scorpions, capacitating the National Prosecuting Authority, and removing ANC cadres from law enforcement bodies and the judiciary who have only served as obstacles to accountability.

3. South Africa’s oversight mechanisms must be restored and strengthened. One of the most worrying, and disturbing revelations in the Zondo Report, and one that the DA has witnessed first-hand, is the hollowing out of oversight institutions such as the National Assembly. When ANC cadres take up positions as presiding officers, and Presidents and Ministers refuse to come to Parliament to answer questions, our legislatures become nothing more than empty houses. Nowhere else is this better represented than the charred, hollow shell that once was the National Assembly Chamber in Cape Town.

4. South Africans must ensure that the ANC faces harsh electoral punishment for state capture in 2024’s General Election. It has always been quite clear that no one individual or personality within the ANC can save it from its own corruption and decay, as the governing party drowns in successive skeletons falling out of each and every closet. South Africa deserves a fresh start, and we need to start preparing now to vote for it.

As we approach 30 years of democracy in South Africa, our once young Republic is now maturing. The Zondo Commission has now signalled a call to urgent reform if we are to recentre ourselves, and retake the path towards democracy, equality, opportunity, and prosperity. South Africans have borne witness to many a Commission under the ANC, but a failure to implement the necessary reforms outlined in the Zondo Commission will swiftly spell our nation’s demise. It is time to stand together for our collective future, free from the ANC, and the DA remains strong and ready to take up our role in the reshaping of a prosperous political future.

Parliament once again failing its oversight function in CaseLines-contract

The rejection of the DA’s urgent request to convene the Portfolio Committee of Justice and Constitutional Development to discuss allegations of corruption and tender irregularities in the CaseLines-contract at the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ), as well as the developments surrounding the Phala Phala debacle, is deeply disappointing. It appears Parliament is once more failing to take its important oversight function seriously.

Today we have learnt that our request was rejected on the grounds that approval will only be given to meetings that are under a court deadline.

The South African public cannot be expected to wait almost two months for Parliament to reconvene next term, before these important matters are addressed.

On the eve of the release of the fifth part of the State Capture Report, which is widely expected to address the failing of Parliament to hold the Executive to account during the Zuma era, it is shocking that this sword is hanging over the OCJ without proper interrogation by the committee.

The R225 million CaseLines-contract appears to have been riddled with irregularities – the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) reportedly did not sign off on the contract as required by law. Three former employees of the OCJ have also allegedly benefitted directly – to the tune of R67.5 million – from the contract via their 30% of shares in ZA square, the company they set up a day after leaving the OCJ.

The Office of the Chief Justice should be beyond reproach at all times. It is an imperative that the public’s trust and confidence in this institution are upheld at all times.

The scourge of corruption and lack of accountability in government will only be addressed when Parliament holds all branches of government to account – irrespective of whether Parliament is currently sitting or not. Given the rejection of our urgent request today, it appears this cultural change may still be some time off.

Declare a state of disaster now to save NMB from Day Zero

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Cilliers Brink, MP.

The DA is calling on the Eastern Cape government to declare a provincial state of disaster specifically for the drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay.

Day Zero will hit Nelson Mandela Bay within a matter of days and this will leave 40% of the city’s residents without water.

It is unthinkable that the provincial government has not seen the urgency of declaring a drought disaster in the Eastern Cape, specifically as Nelson Mandela Bay is set to become the first metropolitan municipality in the world to run out of water.

We believe a state of disaster will create the sense of urgency needed to deal with the situation. This will also enable the metro to ask for the urgent assistance of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) in respect of ensuring public safety at communal taps, to help with logistics at these water collection points, and possible water rationing.

I will be writing to the provincial MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), Xolile Nqatha, imploring him to declare a provincial drought disaster with all urgency. I will also copy the national minister of CoGTA, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, in this communication. If the provincial government is unwilling to act, national government must take charge and declare a state of disaster.

A state of disaster declaration will also unlock other government resources that can be used to mitigate the impact of the water crisis.

I have been informed that by the end of this month the KwaNobuhle pump station will be fully upgraded and will have the functionality to draw water from the Nooitgedacht Low-Level Scheme, that can be integrated into the water reticulation system.

That will be crucial in order to partly prevent the southern and western parts of the city from running out of water. We need further commitment from the metro’s political leadership that they are willing to complete all projects that will integrate Nelson Mandela Bay’s water reticulation in a bid to give all communities fair access to water.

Today, 22 June 2022, I conducted an oversight inspection at a site in St George’s Park in Nelson Mandela Bay where four boreholes have been sunk. (see pictures here, here and here)

Boreholes have also been drilled across the metro, but due to delays with the construction of filtration plants and booster pumps, these water sources have not been integrated into the reticulation system.

There is no time to waste and plans must now be made in regards to how the metro can make use of this water immediately. There are safety issues regarding unpurified water, but once a state of disaster is declared, we can draw from the knowledge of experts on how the usage of this water can be expedited.

The ANC-led coalition government has proved incapable of dealing with this crisis.

The DA will do all it can to assist residents during this unprecedented drought, drawing from the best practice that our governments have already shown in drought disaster management.

27 000 critical skills shortages in health sector

Please find attached soundbite by Haseena Ismail MP.

In answer to a parliamentary question from the DA, the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, has revealed that the South African health sector has a critical skills shortage of more than 27 000.

The DA will request that Minister Phaahla appear before the parliamentary portfolio committee on health as matter of urgency to reveal his plan to fill these critical posts.

We will also submit follow-up parliamentary questions regarding:

  • The reasons for the massive vacancy rate, including interrogation of the budget;
  • Given the vacancy rate, why are so many qualified medical personnel struggling to find employment;
  • Why are medical students still struggling to get placement;
  • Given the amount of foreign medical personnel employed in South Africa, why are South African medical personnel who qualified and trained in foreign countries struggling to get accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)?

The perpetual decline of the public health care system and the increasing failures by the Department of Health to address the various serious concerns predicts the disaster South Africa would face should the National Health Insurance (NHI) be steamrolled through Parliament. It is clear that this government does not have the budget, the ability or both to fill almost 30 000 vacant posts for critical medical positions. It also begs the question that with so many vacancies, why is the ANC still hiring medical personnel from Cuba, which has cost taxpayers R257 million, when there are thousands of South African medical graduates just sitting at home waiting to be placed into public service.

It is becoming ever clearer that the ANC government cannot see past their ideological blinds. While the DA supports quality universal health care, the NHI is as ill thought out as the Eastern Cape’s scooter ambulances. If government cannot maintain and support the public health care system in its current form, they do not have the skill set to make the NHI work. And it will be ordinary South Africans who cannot board a private jet to Russia for health care that will suffer.

Instead of shoving the NHI down the country’s throat, the ANC government should spent their energy and our taxes on saving the health care system. Perhaps they could start by addressing the serious concerns Dr Tim De Maayer raised regarding the decline of the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child hospital in Gauteng.

NMB Day Zero is almost upon us: Letter from DA Leader, John Steenhuisen

Dear Nelson Mandela Bay Resident,

The day we have all feared has arrived.

Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) is South Africa’s first major city to run out of water, leaving hundreds of thousands of residents high and dry. It is a terrifying fact that 40% of NMB will soon be without water while some parts of the city have already started to run dry.

What is most infuriating about this situation is that it could have been avoided almost entirely or, at the very least, we could have pushed Day Zero out by months. There are some who will have you believe that this is strictly a drought issue. While there is indeed a pervasive drought in the region, the reality is that we have run out of water due to mismanagement, incompetence and greed. The defunding of critical projects, the lack of skills, political disruption, poor communication, failure to rapidly repair leaks… and the list goes on.

On taking office in 2016, the Democratic Alliance (DA) immediately implemented water restrictions. In so doing, within a couple of months we brought water consumption down from 300 megalitres to 250 megalitres per day. A drought mitigation plan was drafted, funding was secured, and a contractor appointed to implement this plan. In the 2018/19 financial year, while the DA-led coalition was in government, we secured R750 million in long-term loan funding of which most was earmarked for water infrastructure projects. This funding was to be used to expedite the integration of the City’s water infrastructure with the Nooitgedacht Low-Level Scheme – this project has now been abandoned by the ANC.

The DA had a plan and that plan was on track to deliver water security for all of the residents of NMB. When the DA was unceremoniously removed from government in 2018 these projects ground to a halt and, at best, to a slow trickle.

When the ANC coalition of corruption took over in 2018, many of these drought mitigation projects were put on hold or were simply not implemented by the ANC government. Funding was redirected to projects where money could be easily stolen, and the rest is history. The ongoing mismanagement, political interference and disruption to funding of critical projects is what has brought us to where we are today.

When we returned to government in NMB at the end of 2020 the DA and our coalition partners immediately embarked on reviving these projects and allocating additional funding to ensure water security. Sadly we did not get back into government after the 2021 local government elections and little to nothing has happened since then under the ANC and their coalition partners.

Throughout all of this, the DA has not sat back and watched from the side lines. We have worked hard to create awareness and offer solutions through council, parliament and our communities. 

We have:

  • held dozens of town hall meetings – both in person and online,
  • launched a website to keep residents informed,
  • run regular social media campaigns to reduce demand and delay Day Zero,
  • tabled detailed plans to the authorities,
  • lobbied national government to intervene in NMB,
  • exposed NMB’s contaminated water earlier this year,
  • raised the alarm that NMB was overdrawing from the dams thus expediting Day Zero, and
  • identified unused dams that can be reconnected to augment supply.

Many projects commissioned during the period when the DA was in government have never been completed, or even got off the ground, which has left 40% of residents now facing the inevitability of no water for many months ahead.

We are committed to establishing the state of all planned projects to integrate the Nooitgedacht system. The NMB Metropolitan Municipality (the Metro) has been unable to come clean as to which of these projects have been completed, are still in the planning phase, or have even fallen by the wayside due to insufficient budget.

The DA will now launch a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to force the Metro to provide this information.

The DA has also now written to the speaker of parliament to convene a joint sitting to address the unfolding water crisis in NMB. Bulk water supply is the responsibility of the national government, and the residents demand answers as to how this was allowed to happen and why the rudderless ANC-led coalition government has put almost no plans in place to mitigate this humanitarian crisis.

Day Zero will prove to have disastrous consequences for the people of NMB, as very few alternative plans to provide water to at least a third of the city have been communicated.The DA will continue to do all we can to assist residents during this unprecedented drought, drawing from the best practice that our governments have already shown in drought disaster management.

In antwoord op nuutste DA parlementêre vraag, bevestig Nzimande dat Afrikaans as inheems erken sal word

Twee maande nadat die DA ’n regsmening onthul het wat bevestig dat die minister van hoër onderwys, Blade Nzimande, die pot mis gesit het met sy poging om Afrikaans as “uitheems” te klassifiseer, het ons nou ook ’n onderneming uit hom gewurg dat sy departement die definisie van inheemse tale in die Taalbeleidsraamwerk vir Hoër Onderwys sal aanpas.

Vir die heel eerste keer het ons nou ook daarin geslaag om Blade Nzimande te dwing om persoonlik te erken dat Afrikaans ’n inheemse taal is.

Hierdie inligting word bevat in Nzimande se nuutste antwoord op ’n DA parlementêre vraag, waarin ons vra of hy inderdaad die Taalbeleidsraamwerk gaan aanpas soos deur sy eie departementele regsmening aanbeveel word, en wanneer die wysigings sal geskied.

In antwoord bevestig Nzimande: “Die definisie van inheemse tale in die Beleidsraamwerk sal aangepas word dienooreenkomstig met die regsmening soos ontvang en daar was nooit enige dispuut in die Taalbeleidsraamwerk oor die status van Afrikaans as ’n inheemse taal nie.”

Dit bly egter kommerwekkend dat Nzimande die DA se vraag oor die sperdatum vir die implementering van die wysigings ignoreer. Daarom gaan ons steeds die druk volhou totdat die wysigings deurgevoer is.

Wat ook onthutsend is, is dat Nzimande nou maak asof daar nooit enige “dispuut” was oor die status van Afrikaans nie. Dit is eenvoudig onwaar. Inteendeel: Nzimande se eie regsmening verklaar dat die oorspronklike weergawe van die definisie “strydig met die Grondwethof se beskouing van Afrikaans as ’n inheemse taal is.”

Hierdie is presies dieselfde lafhartige strategie wat deur Nzimande se anti-Afrikaanse meeloper, die minister van sport, kuns en kultuur, Nathi Mthethwa, gebruik word. Nadat oorweldigende druk deur die DA en openbare drukgroepe hom gedwing het om af te sien van die waansinnige plan om Afrikaans te verwyder uit die naam van die Afrikaanse Taalmonument, het hy omgedraai en probeer aanvoer dat daar nooit so plan was nie – ten spyte daarvan dat die direksie van die Taalmonument dit bevestig het.

Dit is duidelik dat hierdie ANC regering nie net ’n veldtog teen Afrikaans dryf nie, maar dat hulle ook te lafhartig is om dit te erken wanneer die DA en die burgerlike samelewing terugbaklei. Hul ontkennings onderskat egter die mense van Suid-Afrika, vir wie se taalregte die DA onverpoosd voort sal veg teen alle soortgelyke ANC aanslae.

Lifting of Covid restrictions: It’s about time

The DA calls on all the MECs, the Cabinet and President Cyril Ramaphosa to support the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla’s reported recommendations and lift all Covid-19 related health regulations as a matter of urgency.

We also call on Minister Phaahla to repeal the draft regulations relating to forced vaccinations and forced quarantines that are still up for public comment until 5 August 2022. If the Minister was serious about lifting regulations regarding social distancing and mask wearing it would be nonsensical to bring these other regulations into effect afterwards.

Minister Phaahla wrote a letter to the MECs in which he notified them of his intention to repeal the current health regulations relating to Covid-19. The DA has been calling for the lifting of Covid restrictions for months, and while we welcome a decision that would allow South Africa to finally return to normal, the timing of this decision needs to be scrutinized and is rather suspicious.

In the last two and a half years, government has been steadfast in its decisions to continue with Covid restrictions despite it being contrary to scientific evidence.

It can be of no coincidence that this decision has come at a time where Eskom blackouts have started again, the President is dealing with allegations of money laundering at his farm and the delay of the release of the final Zondo report on Wednesday.

It seems as if the ANC government has taken a leaf out of the UK government’s book who suddenly removed all Covid restrictions after the Prime Minister and officials were caught partying during lockdowns.

Draconian draft health regulations were gazetted in May to extend permanent control over the South African public. However, the only thing that these rushed regulations achieved was to further burden South African businesses and hamper the economy.

This may never happen again.

COGTA’s Community Works Programme pays over R2 million to 909 dead people

Please find an attached soundbite by Eleanore Bouw-Spies MP.

A parliamentary reply to a DA question has revealed that third-party organisations, known as implementing agents, contracted by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to implement the Community Works Programme paid over R2 million to 909 deceased individuals.

The DA will be submitting follow-up questions to the Minister of COGTA, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, asking for details on the identity of the offending implementing agents and the steps that her Department will take to ensure that they are placed on the Treasury’s database of restricted suppliers.

Third-party implementing agents for the Community Works programme have become a cesspool of corruption and a lucrative avenue for connected cadres to enrich themselves. Last week, another DA reply revealed that the Department of COGTA is due to spend over R300 million in fees to these implanting agents. This represents 27% of the R1,2 billion that will be spent on the CWP programme by September 2022.

The DA reiterates its call that these implementing agents need to be scrapped and the Department must stop administering the CWP budget as this does not form part of its core function. Instead, the CWP budget should be allocated to municipality’s administered expanded public works programmes with the caveat that they provide quarterly reports on programme implementation. Using municipalities will cut out the fees paid to implementing agents and save the taxpayer millions of rand.

It is simply unconscionable that at a time when the unemployment rate is sitting at 45%, COGTA is wasting R300 million rand in administration fees instead of providing unemployed South Africans with an income through the public works programme.

Not only is COGTA paying ridiculous amounts in fees, but CWP workers are still struggling every month to get payment from these implementing agents for services rendered. They would rather corruptly pay deceased individuals than the tens of thousands of desperate South Africans contracted under the CWP.

Removing the implementation responsibility for the CWP away from COGTA and removing third-party implementing agents will result in significant cost-cutting and a better chance of participants being taken up in jobs either in municipalities or in the private sector.